City prohibits single-use plastic bags in retail stores selling grocery items.
The Los Angeles City Council has voted 11-1 in favor of banning the use of single-use plastic bags in pharmacies, food stores and large stores in the city. The vote follows a similar measure that was defeated in the California State Legislature one month ago.
The ordinance will be phased in over the next year, reaching larger stores on Jan. 1, 2014, and smaller retail operations on July 1, 2014. Customers who want paper bags will have to pay $.10 for each bag, according to the ordinance.
It is expected that the Mayor will sign the ordinance into law.
Businesses that fail to comply with the law would face a fine of $100 for the first violation, $200 after the second and $500 after the third. Fines would be imposed for each day the violation continues.
Following the vote, Mark Daniels, chairman of the American Progressive Bag Alliance, said, "By voting to ban plastic bags and impose a 10-cent tax on paper bags, the Los Angeles City Council has sent a terrible message to manufacturers, small businesses and working families in the City of Los Angeles. After recently being voted down in the State Senate, the California Grocers Association continues to peddle this bag ban and tax scam around the state because big grocers stand to make millions from collecting every penny of the tax on paper bags. This ordinance has been sold to the public through junk science in the name of the environment, but bag bans and taxes don't help the environment – they make things worse. A tax on consumers is hurtful and, worse, a ban on plastic bags threatens the jobs of the 1,000 hard-working employees of Los Angeles area plastic bag manufacturers.”